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Polk County News - Breakout

City preparing for tremendous growth

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By Emily Banks Wooten
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City Manager Bill S. Wiggins spoke at the Rotary Club of Livingston Thursday.  Photo by Emily Banks WootenCity Manager Bill S. Wiggins spoke at the Rotary Club of Livingston Thursday. Photo by Emily Banks WootenGrowth in the community and the projects that growth has necessitated was the primary theme of Livingston City Manager Bill S. Wiggins’ program for the Rotary Club of Livingston Thursday.

“We’re seeing so much growth in our community and our county. Folks, we’re growing by leaps and bounds,” he said, adding that the city has been installing new water lines and new electricity loops and electricity reconductoring.

Wiggins said the city is about to start a large infrastructure project in the spring on “Cemetery Hill” that will accommodate Postel International Inc., the metal fabrication plant in the 1800 block of South Washington; Camp Cho-Yeh, which has plans for expansion; and the Baskin project in which acres of forest have been cleared for commercial development.

“We’re trying to prepare for the future. This growth is coming. And with the Supreme Court’s ruling regarding electronic bingo on tribal lands, Naskila will continue to grow. They have plans,” Wiggins said. “If you have a business or are with a business, I’ll just say make sure you’re ready. It’s coming.

“We’re working on an aging sewer plant because we’ve got to handle the increased growth. We’re hoping to start next month on our automatic metering for our electricity and water and have everything in place citywide by the end of next year. It’s going to be huge,” he said, adding that utility customers will be able to log in on a computer or on the phone app and see their usage and that it will also have the ability to trigger abnormalities and alert the customer. “It’s going to be good for the city because the first week of every month we have four or five guys that have to physically go out and read meters. It’s a huge safety factor because in this day and age you just don’t know what someone might do if they see someone walking in their yard. It’s something I’ve worried about since becoming city manager.

“Moving on to our police department, Uvalde is still fresh on everyone’s minds and should be. We have an officer on every school campus in the city and our police department undergoes periodic trainings throughout the year with the sheriff’s office, Texas Ranger, volunteer fire departments and first responders. They work with all the other agencies. We’ve had two audits in the past month and both were 100% perfection,” Wiggins said.

“I think Chief Matt Parrish and Lieutenant Marty Drake visited with you previously about the Flock camera system. It went live on Oct. 5 and since that time has counted 749,359 cars and recovered 13 vehicles and one camper trailer at a value of $430,500. It’s been very, very successful and will continue to be as all these other communities get involved,” Wiggins said, adding that it has the capability to do traffic study counts and that the department has started tracking that.

Wiggins gave an update or overview of various development projects underway throughout the city.

“The convenience store and 64 new apartments on 190 East are making good headway and the 80-unit complex on Dogwood is hoping to be open by the end of the year. The King Ranch John Deere dealership and turf business is coming in next to Premiere Autoplex and is supposed to be something neat. We’re reviewing plans for CP Homes Memory Care that is going in next to Country Place Senior Living on North Washington. Livingston Fitness Center is building on the old volleyball court a new building for yoga and pilates. Our good friend Jimmy Banks and some of his partners are putting in some spec homes in The Retreat, with four already underway. They bought the remaining 19 lots that were available.”

Wiggins reminded everyone of the upcoming holiday events including the downtown lighting ceremony on Nov. 22, A Drive Through Bethlehem Dec. 2-4, and Livingston’s Hometown Christmas and lighted parade on Dec. 10.

Reviewing other things the city did this year, Wiggins reported that the city renamed the Whataburger pond Cannon Pond & Park following the generous donation of the land from the Pritchard family. He also reported that the parks department provided over 530 swim lessons this past year and that the volunteer fire department has responded to a record number of fire calls.

“Please, please be careful with fires. There are lots of dead trees and that is one of our biggest worries,” Wiggins said. “In closing, I just want to emphasize go vote. There are a number of important races both statewide and locally.”

 

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Public input sought on voluntary annexation

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Onalaska logoThe Onalaska City Council will receive public input on the voluntary annexation of 96.090 acres of land located in the John Burgess Survey, Abstract 7 and the Wesley Fletcher Survey, Abstract 827, Polk County, Texas with service plan, by Wagner Farms LLC, the property owner, during a public hearing at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. Council will consider approval of an ordinance annexing the land during its regular meeting at 5 p.m.

Council is slated to deliberate and consider action on the termination of the contract with McCreary Veselka Bragg & Allen PC to enforce the collection of debt and account receivables for municipal fees and fines.

In related activity, Council is also slated to deliberate and consider the adoption of an ordinance authorizing a collection fee in the amount of 30% as provided by Article 103.0031 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure for the collection of debt and account receivables for municipal fees and fines; and a resolution approving a contract with Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson LLP to enforce the collection of debt and account receivables for municipal fees and fines.

Property Owner Timothy Frank Dassow is slated to make a presentation to Council regarding Lots 206 and 207 of Section 1 of Canyon Park to show cause why such building should not be declared unsafe and/or dangerous. Following his presentation, Council will consider action to declare the building unsafe or dangerous and act on an order to vacate, remove or demolish the structure.

Reports will be presented on behalf of the police department, fire department, fire marshal/building inspector, library representative and city administrator. The Veterans Day art contest winners will be announced and recognized.

Other items on the agenda include approval of the minutes, vouchers and financial reports.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Public hearing on city agenda to determine if property is unsafe

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City of Livingston logoThe Livingston City Council will hold a public hearing on the determination of an unsafe and/or dilapidated building and cleanup of the property during its regular meeting at 5 p.m. Tuesday. Following the public hearing Council will discuss and consider action on the final order for the property.

The property in question is a residential structure located at 1008 Dunbar Ave. owned by Dunbar Livingston 1008, LLC, the property being described as: Lot 6 of Block 1 of the Viola Jones Addition, a subdivision in the City of Livingston, in Polk County, Texas, according to the map or plat thereof recorded in Volume 1, Page 98 of the Plat Records of Polk County, Texas, also known as 1008 Dunbar Ave., Livingston, Texas.

Council is slated to discuss and consider action on the City of Livingston’s personnel policy update which was tabled from the Oct. 11 meeting for additional review. A preliminary plat review for the 190 Apartments Subdivision will also be considered for approval.

Holiday compensation for 2022 will be considered for approval as will the setting of the 2023 calendar year holiday observances.

Several items are on the agenda regarding the Texas General Land Office community block grant disaster recovery program. Council is slated to consider a proposed resolution authorizing the submission of the application and authorizing the mayor to act as the city’s executive officer and authorized representative in all matters pertaining to the city’s participation. Council will also consider a proposed resolution adopting the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development financial management and procurement guidelines; consider approval to begin procurement of engineering and administration services for the grant; and appoint a rating review committee to rate the proposals received.

An executive session is on the agenda at which time Council is expected to consult with the city attorney and review the salary schedule for the fiscal year Oct. 1, 2022 through Sept. 30, 2023. However, any action will be taken upon return to open session.

Livingston Police Chief Matt Parrish and Lieutenant Marty Drake will present an update to Council regarding the use of Flock Group Inc. automated license plate recognition cameras.

Other items on the agenda include the city manager’s monthly report, accounts over $500 and minutes of the Oct. 11 meeting.

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Amended agreement on agenda

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Polk County LogoThe Polk County Commissioners Court will consider approval of an amended agreement with Goodwin Lassiter & Strong for engineering services for the water infrastructure projects to be funded by the American Rescue Plan Act during its regular meeting at 10 a.m. Tuesday.

A request from the county clerk to utilize the judicial center break room to temporarily house voter registration records will be considered.

Proposed revisions to the Polk County subdivision regulations will be considered and a public hearing scheduled.

An amendment to the SAAFE House lease agreement will be considered for approval, as will a resolution supporting additional measures to secure the U.S.-Mexico border against criminal activity.

The Court will consider requests for capital purchases to be paid from the general fund balance and included on the fiscal year 2023 reimbursement resolution for the year-end issuance of legally authorized debt as follows – a request from the Precinct 1 justice of the peace for the purchase a desktop scanner not to exceed $1,000 and a request from information technology for the purchase of computers for the annual technology rotation not to exceed $30,180.

An offer to purchase Lot 19 of Block 12 of Section 1 of Impala Woods, tax foreclosed property in Precinct 2, will be considered for approval.

In personnel matters, the Court will review and consider personnel action form requests submitted since the last meeting and review any authorized emergency hirings. Additionally, the Court will consider fiscal year 2022 and fiscal year 2023 budget revisions and amendments as presented by the county auditor’s office.

During informational reports, the Court will receive updated landfill and collection station rate sheets from Republic Services.

Items on the consent agenda include:

Approve minutes of the Oct. 25 regular meeting;

Approve schedules of bills;

Approve order designating surplus property;

Approve enrollment in Texas Association of Counties cybersecurity training;

Update master street address guide; and

Approve order assigning space in county-owned buildings.

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Early voting - Roughly 22% of county’s voters turned out early

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VoteEarly grahpic

From Enterprise Staff

As of 4:45 p.m. Friday, 9,331 ballots had been cast during early voting for the Nov. 8 general election – 6,025 in Livingston, 913 in Corrigan and 2,393 in Onalaska. Those 9,331 ballots account for 22.087% of the 42,245 total registered voters in Polk County.

Voters opting to wait until Tuesday, Election Day, to cast their ballot may vote from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at any of the following polling places:

•Escapees Clubhouse at 100 Rainbow Dr. in Livingston

Trinity Lutheran Church at 221 Pan American Dr. in Livingston

Scenic Loop Fire Department at 1406 FM 3277 in Livingston

Onalaska Sub-Courthouse at 14111 U.S. Hwy. 190 West in Onalaska

Blanchard Baptist Church at 2450 FM 2457 in Livingston

St. Joseph Catholic Church Family Center at 2590 Hwy. 190 West in Livingston

Dunbar Community Center at 1102 Martin Luther King Dr. in Livingston

Sechrest Webster Community Center at 100 W. Front St. in Corrigan

Alabama-Coushatta Administration Building at 571 State Park Rd. #56 in Livingston

Schwab City Baptist Church at 10998 Hwy. 146 South in Livingston

Soda Baptist Church at 8135 U.S. Hwy. 190 East in Livingston

Polk County Judicial Center at 101 W. Mill St. in Livingston

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